Marilène Oliver

The art and science of our digital selves

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About Marilène Oliver

Marilène Oliver works at a crossroads somewhere between new digital technologies, traditional print, and sculpture. Her finished objects bridge the virtual and the real worlds; living in both and neither simultaneously. She works with the body translated into data form in order to understand how it has become 'unfleshed', in the hope of understanding who or what it has become. Oliver uses various scanning technologies, such as MRI, CT, and PET, to reclaim the interior of the body and create works that allow us to materially contemplate our increasingly digitized selves. Marilène has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe in both private and public collections and galleries including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Academy, MassMoCA, Knoxville Museum of Art, Frissarias Museum, Kunsthalle Ahlen, Casino Luxembourg, The Glenbow Museum, and The Wellcome Trust.

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About This Talk

An artificial intelligence expert’s theory about a future world where we may need to download our consciousness to the datascape in order for us to survive led Marilène Oliver to ponder what a world like this would be like. She asked herself “If indeed we could download our consciousness to the datascape what would happen to the physical bodies left behind? Or, more worryingly, what kind of consciousness would we have if we had no body?”— it is through these questions that her work using digitized bodies emerged.

The epicenter of Marliène’s work truly is at the intersection of art and science. Her work, digitized bodies created from CT and MRI scans, offers a visual representation of a digitized future. As she explains, “For me, this material [CT scans and MRI scans] offers a fascinating preview of just where we may be headed as we delve deeper and deeper into the interface between human identity and machine created data”. Watch Marliène’s 2018 TEDMED Talk to learn more about her work.

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